And what a year to say goodbye to! My first full year of blogging done. The first year of my healthy hair journey done. My skin looking better than it has in I can’t even remember, yes! Feeling happier and more confident going into 2018 than I could have imagined. Let’s see how I can make 2018 more. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions and I don’t normally do deep reflection but I’ll do a little of both…for posterity. Not because I’m a cliché or anything.
So on that reflective note, I would like to thank anyone and everyone that has taken the time to follow a link from social media, who has searched for something and my blog has come up and has come and had a look. I’ve had a fair few days where no-one has come by and there’s been days when 1 person has and they’ve read 20 different posts. From that point of view, it’s been very up and down. I gave myself goals of how many followers I’d like (complete pie in the sky nonsense) and how many likes I’d expect. Want some honesty? I failed.
Well not failed at life or anything that dramatic. But I possibly over reached. I’ve had a personal Facebook account for years but public social media accounts and a blog are a completely different kettle of fish. I had no idea the amount of work that is needed to grow a blog. Especially when it’s a hobby. The professionals make it look so easy.
In the first two months of my blog, I had over 1100 views from almost 300 visitors. And that was without doing anything. Surely that would mean that I’d be a blogging superstar by the end of 2017. I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve had from people I know and those that I don’t. But no, I am no superstar. I haven’t even hit the level of a micro blogger/influencer (500-10,000 followers on IG as an example). There was a personal hope to have 500 followers but anyone with a public profile will know that follower numbers are like a rocky sea, up and down without any reason but in my case the wave is steadily growing. I started the year with 90 followers and I’m ending with 302. Not stellar growth but I’m getting there.
What is success? The number of follows and likes on social media should not be an indicator of how well I’m doing. For example, my Facebook page follows has been in the 280s since February. That would mean there’s been no growth, no progress, no change. But there has been so much. Looking at my first post and looking at my most recent post, I see it. I feel it. I know my stuff is better than it was. And I can’t wait to see where I am at the end of 2018. I hope to have some, if not all of you, still on the journey with me.
My journey as a writer is important, the likes and public shows of adoration are welcome window dressing.
From a statistical point of view, my most popular post is my Palmer’s Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner Review. I never thought that would be the one outperforming my next most popular post by over two and a half times. I think posting on Pinterest means that content constantly gets recirculated and this one seems to fall into that category. So if my blog is lagging by some standards, hopefully more of my content will remain popular like this post from the early Summer. My hope is that I keep going and the right people will find me. That means you, you reading this right now!
My proudest blog achievement was actually on Instagram but related to some of my recent box braid posts (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 all available for your perusal). I did a hairstyle project on Instagram – #30days30styles. Go check it out. It’s really good! Well I think it is. I don’t love taking pictures of myself but I liked playing around with the versatile nature of braids. A little fun and a little colour to brighten up your timeline. Although I am a pretty moody model in most of the pictures because smiling is not my forte! I hope to do a few more picture projects or at least focussed projects on one subject matter each time in the year to come. Plus it beautifies my fairly erratic Instagram and Facebook feeds temporarily.
Something I’m also proud about is having a company contact me for a review. Who knew little old me with my nano blog (it’s even too small to be micro) would be entrusted with anything in a professional manner. Thank you to Detangled Hair for giving me a shout and a great product to review. Possibly that means my blog is coming along well. I don’t know, I hope it does but I just really appreciated the opportunity.
I guess I should talk about what I’ve got coming up. I’ve got Song of the Month posts lined up until the end of the year because I’m organised like that and I like showing a little of me through the music I love. And, if I do say so myself, I have some corkers coming. Obviously it will take all year to reveal them but it’s just one more reason to follow me *plug* Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, BlogLovin’ (still trying to figure that one out), YouTube (no tutorials yet), Facebook, use your WordPress Reader or follow me by email.
I’ve focused quite heavily so far on my hair journey, products I’ve tried and the same for my skin. But I would like to branch out a bit. I hope to have my first travel post coming in the next few weeks! Woo! I’m not sure if it will be about my honeymoon/ first holiday away with my husband to Gran Canaria in 2016, a lovely day out in York in May 2017, Portugal in November 2017 or my friend’s hen to Southern Spain later this year, although I don’t expect to be sober enough to make a note of anything while I’m there!
Or the huge family holiday we’ve planned for this summer, that could be a good one! Whatever it ends up being, I’m excited to finally tick the Travel box. And generally, in life I want to travel more so this is a good start. I should start a Travel Bucket List.
I’ve got a couple of opinion pieces swirling through my mind that I would like to share but almost think it is too far out of what I normally do. But it’s my blog and I can do what I want! I find Meghan Markle particularly interesting or the Kardashians (sorry) and I’ve got a few ideas about them all, maybe they’d be a good starting point for non-lifestyle type posts. Or maybe not, still in two minds. I’ve already split my blog once due to thinking content didn’t quite fit. Still musing on that one…
Anyway, there’s been some challenges (lack of motivation, illness, tiredness, parenting stuff, finding time) but there’s been some highs, the biggest one being that I’m still going! I’m happy and raring to go into 2018, continuing to blog in my own way and making progress and creating successes in the way that satisfies my soul. I hope I can keep that attitude all year long and I wish you all well.
Happy New Year!
Let’s keep growing together!
xx Lee xx
Goals? Plans? Starting a project, a blog, a business? Having a rest? What does 2018 mean for you?